In between Bernie Sanders’ plea for people to get involved in their communities and the fear over what Donald Trump’s election will bring, interest in local politics seems to be as strong as ever.
At an activist meeting earlier this month to brainstorm what to do during the Trump administration, there was enthusiastic participation, but not a lot of details. One activist called for Santa Cruz to become a sanctuary city (although it already is one), and another called for a constitutional amendment requiring government employees to wear microphones whenever they discuss city business—which sounds like the most boring podcast ever.
Others at the Dec. 6 meeting called for better politics coverage on TV, stronger efforts helping the homeless, stricter environmental regulations, and infrastructure improvements—one of the few expenditures Trump has (sometimes) actually supported.
The conference room at Louden Nelson Community Center was abuzz with conversation as more than 225 people crammed inside. Coordinators feverishly passed out sign-up sheets and registrations for upcoming events and gatherings, like Santa Cruz City Council meetings and get-togethers for Santa Cruz for Bernie, which is still enjoys a huge amount of support more than five months after their candidate conceded. Some attendees at the event learned how to volunteer for causes like the Warming Center, which provides a warm place for the homeless on frigid nights.
The bittersweet meeting was also part celebratory, as it was the group’s first since two of its local candidates, Sandy Brown and Chris Kohn, got elected to the Santa Cruz City Council.
On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, Trump opponents called a nationwide strike, along with a Million Women March, both of which will have solidarity rallies in Santa Cruz.